B. ABUSE INFLICTED
3. Sexual abuse including rape, oral sex, intercourse with children, sexual fondling of children, and masturbation with children
4. Physical beatings of children with boards, branches, clubs, and poles.
5. Physical beatings by adult teachers and school leaders with fists to the head and stomach.
6. Kicking the children into submission.
7. Children were in some instances made to walk great distances in bitter cold, including snow and rain, without jackets, coats, or shoes.
8. Children were often forced to sleep on cold floors and in unheated rooms.
9. Children were frequently deprived entirely of medical care or provided such inadequate medical care as to suffer long-term and, in some instances, permanent injury. The medical conditions for which children were not treated included malaria, hepatitis, yellow fever, teeth being knocked out, broken facial bones, and broken bones in their hands, often inflicted as they attempted to shield themselves from beatings.
10. Children were sometimes kept in filthy conditions. In at least one instance, a local group utilized what had recently been a cattle or horse barn for a nursery.
11. In almost every school the children were kept in severely overcrowded conditions, often forced to sleep shoulder to shoulder on the floor or in small rooms in three-high bunks with 10 or 12 children to each tiny room.
12. The children were physically abused by being awakened every day in the early morning hours (generally at 4:00 a.m.) and subjected to a cold shower, after which they were taken, without any breakfast, to a daily religious service. At some schools, the children were forced to walk great distances in the dark to attend the service, and often in cold or rainy conditions, clothed only in their thin gown-like "dohti."
13. The children were not provided bathroom tissue, but instead were expected to wipe themselves with their fingers, after which they would dip their fingers into a bowl of water.
14. As punishment for not cleaning themselves thoroughly, children were scrubbed with steel wool until their skin was raw and sometimes bleeding.
15. Children were abused when they were forced to sleep on their wet blankets or in tubs as punishment if they wet their bedding.
16. Some children were forced to wear their soiled underclothes on their heads for long periods of time because they had wet themselves.
17. Children were often forced to go without food entirely, either because there was none, or as punishment when food was provided, it was always inadequate for a growing child's diet.
18. The inadequate food that was provided was often prepared in unsanitary conditions, was of very poor quality and so unpleasant that even hungry children frequently could not eat it In at least one school the children learned as a matter of routine to remove insects from their food before eating it.
19. Each child was expected to eat what they were provided. If they did not do so, their saved portion was kept on their plates until the next meal when it was served again. This process often continued until the cold food -- even moldy and insect-infested - was swallowed.
20. In some schools, children were forced to lick up their vomit from any foul food they may have thrown up.
21. At New Vrindavan, three young boys, about six or seven years of age, who worked in the kitchen, took some food to their hungry friends. They were caught and punished by being gagged, having bags placed over their heads, and being put in a small room for several days with only a bucket for their waste and no food or water. One of the same boys was later slammed by a teacher into a marble wall, resulting in a loss of some teeth and fractured facial bones.
22. Children were controlled by various threats to hurt or kill them and by punishments. Young children, strictly limited to a vegetarian diet, were continually terrorized when told that non-Krishnas were meat-eaters, that they ate each other, and that the children, if given to or taken by the meat-eaters, would themselves be eaten.
23. Children often saw rats in their rooms and schools. Some children (such as those at the school in Dallas) were told the rats lived in a particular old closet, and the child would be, and often was, placed in the closet if they didn't do as told.
24. One form of punishment included forcing little children to stand on a crate for long periods of time in a darkened closet "so the rats would not eat them."
25. Very young children were in fact placed in those dark and locked closets and left afraid and crying for hours at a time. They were locked overnight in dark cellars with dirt floors. One young child was made to sleep alone in the loft of a cold barn for many nights.
26. sometimes the children were sent by their superiors to massage and bathe the religious gurus and then drink their now ''blessed bath water."
27. In some cases, children were stuffed into trash barrels for periods of two to three days, with the lid on, as punishment for relatively trivial "sins."
28. Children were almost universally told that if they disclosed their condition or complained to their parents or others, they would be severely punished when complaints were made, the children were publicly and often severely beaten or subjected to other forms of punishment.
29. Girls, as young as 12 or 13 years, were frequently "given" or "promised" to an older male in the movement. Although their marriages were generally not sexually consummated until the child was at least 16 or 17 years old, the little girls were terrorized by the threats, and often reality, of being given away by their leaders to become engaged to many "strange old men."
30. Children were often forced to lie awake in their beds or sleeping bags and listen as their little friends were sexually molested by teachers and other leaders.
31. The children were emotionally abused by subjecting them to near-total parental and societal isolation. In an effort to totally control their minds, the children were, in most cases, separated and isolated from their parents and were not allowed to have regular contact with their parents. Personal visits, correspondence, and telephone calls were either forbidden or discouraged. Gifts, particularly of food, were intercepted. For example, one young boy felt abandoned by his parents, and had no contact with his family for more than a year. He later learned the one small package of cookies sent by his mother was intercepted and kept from him.
32. Children were frequently moved to different schools in different states without the consent (or, sometimes, knowledge) of parents. Some children were hidden from parents. Some boys were shipped out of the country to ISKCON schools in India. In at least some cases, after the parents discovered their child's whereabouts and made arrangements for them to come home, their plane tickets were intercepted, and torn up in front of the children. Then, these children were punished for their parents' attempt to bring them home.
33. Even though the children were given by their parents to ISKCON to educate, except for the reading of their "Vedic scriptures," the children received little or no education.
34. Because of near-total isolation from the outside world and lack of education, the children who remained within the ISKCON schools for extended periods of time were totally unequipped to enter outside society. They have experienced extreme difficulty in earning a living, entering and maintaining relationships, including marriage, and in adapting to the laws and regulations of society. Many are in need of extended psychological and/or vocational training,rehabilitation, and medical care.
35. Plaintiffs, like almost all of the children who remained within ISKCON schools for any period of time, were forced to work many hours a day, at ages below the applicable minimum age requirements of the state child labor laws in which the schools were located. Compounding this illegal work program put in place by the Defendants in the gurukulas is the fact that none of the Plaintiffs was ever paid for their many hours of labor. Thus, not only were Plaintiffs forced to work by Defendants in violation of applicable child labor laws, but were forced to do so without any compensation whatsoever, robbing them of the value of their work.
36. The widespread use of child labor was a necessary part of the Defendants' scheme. Because Defendants fail to provide adequate staffing to prepare meals, cook, wash dishes and clothes, and clean the facilities and, in some instances, operate the farms, Defendants utilized the children to perform a large portion of these services. This practice fired the children's parents to continue to raise money for ISKCON and to provide other services to the ISKCON enterprise.
37. The founder of the institution, Prabhupada, was informed in 1972, at a time when he totally controlled the institution, that extensive physical and sexual abuse of minor ISKCON children was occurring, but he concealed the wrongdoing from the public, parents and all but a handful of close advisors.
38. Despite having been alerted to the physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse of children in its gurukula boarding schools and other schools as early as the 1970s, ISKCON and the other Defendants conspired to suppress any public disclosure, or disclosure to gurukula children's parents, of the pattern and practice of rampant abuse and theft at its gurukulas. ISKCON fraudulently concealed this information for decades, allowing the offending gurukula teachers and supervisors continued access to children for their sexual gratification and to subject them to physical, emotional and mental abuse. Defendants also endeavored to dissuade and discourage parents of gurukula children from visiting the schools. This was done at least in part to preserve the secrecy surrounding the abuse of and theft from the Krishna children.
38. ISKCON, by and through its GBC, knew that if it did not conceal and keep secret the theft, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse it had learned was taking place in many of its schools, the very viability of the movement would be jeopardized. ISKCON would face a large loss of students and their parents from the movement and with that a large loss of funds and fundraisers. The individual income of many members of the GBC would have been adversely impacted. Its leaders would also have been subject to criminal and civil sanctions. The GBC made conscious decisions to conceal the fact that injury had been, and was continuing to be, inflicted on minor boys and girls.
Children were almost universally told that if they disclosed their condition or complained to their parents or others, they would be severely punished when complaints were made, the children were publicly and often severely beaten or subjected to other forms of punishment.
Because of near-total isolation from the outside world and lack of education, the children who remained within the ISKCON schools for extended periods of time were totally unequipped to enter outside society. They have experienced extreme difficulty in earning a living, entering and maintaining relationships, including marriage, and in adapting to the laws and regulations of society. Many are in need of extended psychological and/or vocational training,rehabilitation, and medical care.
The founder of the institution, Prabhupada, was informed in 1972, at a time when he totally controlled the institution, that extensive physical and sexual abuse of minor ISKCON children was occurring, but he concealed the wrongdoing from the public, parents and all but a handful of close advisors.
ISKCON, by and through its GBC, knew that if it did not conceal and keep secret the theft, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse it had learned was taking place in many of its schools, the very viability of the movement would be jeopardized. ISKCON would face a large loss of students and their parents from the movement and with that a large loss of funds and fundraisers. The individual income of many members of the GBC would have been adversely impacted. Its leaders would also have been subject to criminal and civil sanctions. The GBC made conscious decisions to conceal the fact that injury had been, and was continuing to be, inflicted on minor boys and girls.
You, who call yourselves “the children of God” and “The Family of love”, have sacrificed, deprived and endangered your children all in the name of “saving lost souls”. Did you ever consider the safety, well being and happiness of your own children when you decided to live communally and knowingly allow your children to be in the same household as child molesters and rapists? Sure, the molesters and rapists can be forgiven and perhaps change their names several times to demonstrate that they have “changed” and “repented”. However, these molesters and rapists have never changed and are still the sick people they were 10 names ago. As much as you pray for them and have them “confess their sins,” they continue to roam your homes and prey on your children and your young teens.
I would like to ask you, how are you able to place more value in the life of the “lost souls” then in the life of your own children? What gives you the right to place more value over one life than over another?
I know you believe that you are the “chosen ones” or “the children of god” however, it is one thing to join a cult when you are an adult but it is quite another to force your children to conform to your life style and beliefs. We have observed, over the years, that when we didn’t conform to your standard of living you prayed against us and against our happiness. You have condemned the outsiders or “systemites” as you call them for trying to force you into their mold and their lifestyles (over 30 years ago) and yet you turn around and do the same thing to your own children except you have deprived your children of a descent education and you have allowed for their lives to be jeopardy and the worst part about this is that you justify your actions by professing that you are doing this all in “the name of God”.
Many of your own children are now scared emotionally, psychologically and physically because of what you call “the family of love”, we cannot get back those years of innocence because of your decision to join “the family”. You have also tried to make your children so dependant on you by keeping them in seclusion from the outside world, it was your hope that we would never survive the “real world” if you kept us in seclusion for long enough and brainwashed us with your propaganda. But we survived and we have succeeded in living a positive and productive life in the “real world” or “the system” (as you call it) despite the disadvantages many of us were faced with when we first left.
Some of us may not have made the best decisions but they are our own and we are proud to now have the freedom of expression without restraint or reproach.
Statement of Mr. John LaMattery (Sr) former first-generation member of The Family International (aka. The Children of God) in support of the second-generations’ fight to expose the abuses of the quasi-Christian church of The Family International.
To all past and current first-generation members of The Family International; to ALL our second-generation young people; to the media and; most of all to my own dear children.
My name is John LaMattery. I first joined the Children of God in 1973 and was a full-time member until 1978. I then re-joined in 1985 under its new-name: The Family. I left full-time membership in 1994.
My first son, John LaMattery(Jr), is now standing up to expose the abuses that occurred to many of the children of this group. I would like to say, first of all, how proud I am of my son. It is costing him dearly to make this stand: in finances and health. He is a fine young man who loves his fellowman and has always dealt honestly and truthfully with others. It is true that he suffered sexual abuse as a 9 year old. I would like to say that I was aware of this and failed to intervene on his behalf. I am ashamed that I failed my son and that I did not take steps to protect him from this. In fact, I sanctioned the incident that he refers to in news accounts. I was terribly mistaken in my judgment. I failed to guard him and to keep him out of harms way. For this I am truly sorry. I will not make any excuses for this failure. It was wrong and it is something that I will have to carry to my grave as a terrible mistake made in my life. As King David wrote: “my sin is ever before me.”
Two of my 6 daughters also suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Family members. I was not aware of these until years later but it still remains that because I kept my children in this organization I, whether knowingly or unknowingly, exposed them to an environment which allowed such things to occur. I regret that this happened to them. By placing my children into harms way I must take full responsibility for the results of this in their lives today.
All my children suffered some form of abuse. Not all necessarily sexual. There were other abuses such as psychological which were degrading to their character or frightening to their young minds and spirits. They were deprived of a proper education, asked to go out on the streets and door-to-door nearly daily to raise funds for our living. They were separated from each other and made to live in locations away from their natural family. In essence their family unit was virtually destroyed while at the same time they were made to feel guilty for missing their brothers and sisters, father and mother. This is such a sad and regretful set of circumstances.
These events in my children’s lives are a sad blot on their childhood memories. I regret that as a parent I failed to provide them with the love and care, the oversight and proper attention that are expected of any loving and concerned parent. I hope that in some way they will find complete healing and that the hurt and pain which I allowed into their lives will some day fully heal.
I would also like to say I am very sorry to all the children in The Family whether you ever suffered sexual abuse or not. I am sorry that I didn’t fight for your rights and fight against the terrible insidious doctrine of ‘the law of love’, a doctrine which was twisted by many of my generation to give license to abuse you in one form or another. It is a doctrine which, through my recent conversations with some current members, is still strongly adhered to and professed to be a true and pure doctrine of The Family International. I do believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth to bring His pure and sacred new law: to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. But The Family has, in my opinion and judging by their fruits, grossly misinterpreted it and misused it. This is a sad testimony to the many honest and good people who originally joined this Christian movement. Some got out when they saw things were going wrong. I, regretfully, did not.
Through much prodding by my children and family I am now standing up to voice my condemnation of The Family International. Not the poor and blind souls of the average member, for they are but sheep, but I stand to condemn specifically Karen Zerby (aka Maria) and her hubris of continuing to promote, oh so subtlety, her long held doctrine of the ‘law of love’ which continues to this very day to cause widespread justification for the abuses of the past. It is this doctrine in particular that I believe has created a fundamental mindset which prevents first-generation adults to admit to any wrong doing concerning inappropriate behavior between adults and children in the past. It is, I believe, the mindset which caused Angela Smith (Sue) to continue to question what she had done wrong to Ricky as he was slitting her throat. It is the mindset that is causing Ricky’s own mother and leader of The Family to place the blame for the tragic fruit of her own body on so-called apostates instead of squarely on her own shoulders and the shoulders of her idol namely David Berg, founder of The Children of God.
There is no excuse for what I have caused my children to suffer. I take no refuge in the fact that I was a member of this group and believed in this doctrine of the ‘law of love’ as they put it. I voluntarily gave my mind, heart and soul to follow what was a lie and a deceptive doctrine of love. It was not the true love of God and I believe that we as parents must look honestly in the face of the children that we have produced and are still producing and say to ourselves “where did I go wrong?”
I call on all FIRST-GENERATION current and former members of The Family International to now follow me in supporting our children as they raise their voices to cry out against the lies and the falsehoods that they suffered under. I call on my generation to step forward and come out of the shadows and be counted. Perhaps you never personally witnessed the sexual abuse that many have suffered. But, I pled with you now to look deep into your heart and deep into God’s Holy Word and honestly admit that what David Berg preached and what Maria has continued to preach namely, that “whatever is done in love is right in the sight of God” was twisted and wrestled by them and thus has borne the terrible fruit of suicide and murder in their own home. Do not allow them to pass this blame any longer on to others. Do not, I beg you, allow them to run from the light of the truth of their actions. Do not allow them to continue to twist the truth to support their interpretation of God’s Word.
Our children need our full support now. They need to know that we love them even if it means a total destruction of our own livelihoods, the loss of friends and reputation. Fail not to remember that “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” If Christ asked us to do that for our friends then, I ask you, what would He expect us to give to save our children?
My son has said “it’s a war now between ourselves and our parents”. Let us unite with our children and turn this war towards those who share in our guilt but who continue to hide in the shadows and refuse to take account for their participation in following this false doctrine of love which reaped sorrow and pain in the lives of so many of our children. Stand up and make your voice clear that the “love” so preached was tainted by the lascivious ranting of a false prophet and was and still is supported by pride and arrogance, lies and deceptions in the person of Maria. We are all truly guilty of allowing this into our lives for whatever reason. We all share in this to some degree. Some more than others but as all Nazis’ shared in some part the blame for allowing Hitler to rise so we all share in our sin of not resisting the evil, not fighting the injustices and in not standing by the side of our children in their desperate hour of need. And let us remember what the Psalmist wrote in the 15th Psalm: “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”
To the first generation I finally say, "May God help each of us, may He have mercy on our souls and may we pray that our children will in time forgive us."
And to you of the second generation I sadly say, "I'm sorry for failing you and for letting you down. I hope that many will now stand up to support you in your fight."
Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:50 pm Post subject: Statement of Mr. John LaMattery (Sr)
MONKEY ON A STICK: MURDER, MADNESS AND THE HARE KRISHNAS, by John Hubner and Lindsey Gruson
Chapter 1: Blood Feud
The Planting Party
"Chakradara, you been diggin' like a woodchuck for days," said Dan Reid, a little man with a black goatee who was straddling a big Yamaha motorcycle. "What you need is a party. Wouldn't a taste of something clean and white go good after all that dirt?"
Chakradara, Chuck St. Denis, was digging a trench, searching for a break in a water line. It was early on the morning of June 9, 1983. The sun had already cleared the West Virginia hills in the east and St. Denis's T-shirt was soaked with sweat. He looked at Reid and thought, I'll be damned!
There are few secrets in a commune. St. Denis knew that for some weeks Reid had been running around New Vrindaban, the largest Hare Krishna community in America, telling devotees that St. Denis had raped his wife, Brenda.
It was true that St. Denis had gone through the commune's supply of available women with the same rapacity he devoured ice cream, which he liked to eat with his fingers a half gallon at a time. It was true he had fathered four children by three women. It was even true that he and Brenda had once had a little thing going. But that was all in the past, a long time ago. He had quit screwing around.
He'd been faithful to Debra Gere, the commune's nurse, for almost two years, ever since he had moved out of his trailer and into hers. Debra, or Ambudrara, was the best woman he'd ever had. She was smart and tough and pretty, with dark brown eyes, pale white skin covered with light freckles, and red hair that glistened in the sun. He'd fathered her six-month-old baby girl and was now working with her fourteen hours a day, trying to open a plant nursery . They were going to call it Blue Boy Nursery , after Krishna, the blue lord.
Chuck had told Debra about his previous affair and it didn't bother her. She knew that Dan Reid treated his wife like some kind of bug that had infested his life. He was always flying into red-faced rages, screaming that Brenda was fat and ugly and couldn't do a damn thing right. Brenda would run out of the house and end up sitting at a neighbor's kitchen table, sobbing. Finally, Reid had left his wife and three kids and moved into a shack up in the hills above the commune, called the Artist's Studio. That was when St. Denis had moved in on Brenda.
Debra had been wondering why Reid was spreading the rape story around now. She knew that if Chuck had not been so busy he'd have grabbed the little jerk by the throat and asked him just what the hell he thought he was doing spreading all that garbage around. That was how Chuck handled a problem.
"White stuff?" St. Denis asked, flashing his toothy grin. "Come on, Daruka, you don't have no coke. You've never had no coke."
" But I do," Reid said."And if you don't show up, I'll have to do it all by myself."
Reid gave the Yamaha's throttle a couple of quick nervous twists as St. Denis walked over to the bike and slapped him on the back. St. Denis was twenty-nine years old, six foot two, and 220 pounds, with shoulder-length hair and hazel eyes. Strung around his seventeen-inch neck was a "Krishna's dog collar," as devotees call the sacred kanthi beads. The muscles in his arms were huge, pumped up from all the digging he had been doing.
"We can't have you getting coked up alone, Daruka," St. Denis said. "I mean, what are friends for? But the thing is, we're having a planting party tonight. I had the field behind the greenhouse plowed the other day. We've got twenty flats of Shasta daisies to get in the ground. If we don't get them in soon, they'll all be dead. Everybody is gonna help. Why don't you come? You ain't been around in weeks."
"All right, I will," Reid said. "We can go up to my place afterward. Hell, who cares how late it is when you're gonna get wired?"
St. Denis flashed his big grin. "Daruka, you know all my weaknesses," he said.
"Everybody knows your weaknesses," Reid replied. "You couldn't hide them if you tried."
St. Denis laughed. Reid shifted into first gear and turned the bike round. "Just remember, don't tell anyone," Reid said. "There isn't enough to go around."
"There's never enough to go around," St. Denis yelled as Reid rode away.
St. Denis watched Reid work the bike through the six-inch ruts in the dirt road. So, Daruka wants to be friends again, he thought. Good. We'll do a few lines; he'll bring up the Brenda thing; then we'll work it out and everything will be cool.
He picked up his shovel and went back to the trench.
Chuck and Debra were "fringies," devotees who were on the New Vrindaban equivalent of an injured-reserve list. They believed in the religion, but had not been able to follow the strict vows they took at initiation. Chuck had not been able to give up drugs or alcohol, let alone milder stimulants like coffee and tea. His close relationship with Debra had made a joke out of the ban against illicit sex: Krishnas are supposed to have sex only once a month, and only for the purpose of producing Krishna-conscious children. He had long ago forgotten the ban against eating meat, fish, eggs, or onions.
Devout Krishnas are not supposed to eat onions because they reek of the world. They do not drink tea because it stimulates the mind and disturbs the tranquility that comes with thinking always of Krishna. Spices are banned for the same reason. Food, drink, everything devotees consume, should remind them of Krishna, not of this world.
Like Chuck, Debra found the religion too demanding to practice on an everyday basis. She was expected to rise every day with the other devotees at four in the morning, take a cold shower, and attend Mangalaratik, the morning devotional service at four-thirty. She also had to attend classes on sacred Hindu texts and chant sixteen rounds of the Hare Krishna maha ("great") mantra every day. It took almost two hours to do 1,728 repetitions of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Debra just couldn't make the time. The commune's only nurse, she worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week. She also had two children. She could not be a good mother, a good nurse, and a good devotee too. Besides, she liked to sit in the kitchen of the rambling farmhouse they'd moved into, put up her feet, and relax with a beer. It was a good way to end the day.
One evening in the winter of 1982, a year and a half ago, Debra had been washing the dishes and looking forward to a cold beer. Chuck had been there with her, sitting at the table nursing a Molson's. The phone had rung, but Chuck didn't move. A little annoyed, Debra had grabbed the phone without stopping to dry her hands.
"Hi, Mom. I'm glad it's you," she said a moment later. "I was starting to get a little worried. It's been a while since you called."
St. Denis gazed into his green bottle of Molson ale, half-listening to the conversation. He glanced up when he noticed Debra had stopped talking. Her mouth was hanging open. She was staring at him, but looking right through him.
"You're kidding!" Debra said softly.
St. Denis got up and walked over to her. "What's up?" he whispered.
Debra ignored him. "All right, Mom. I'm kind of too stunned to talk about it right now, anyway. You go have a good cry and we'll talk in the morning."
She hung up and sat down at the table. St. Denis dropped into a chair facing her.
"Dad's will just cleared probate," Debra said. "I'm going to get fifty thousand dollars."
From that moment on, there was only one topic of conversation in the old farmhouse: "What are we going to do with the money?"
They knew what they should do if they were good devotees: surrender it to Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada, the guru who had built New Vrindaban. Kirtanananda "was like a god on earth; devotees dropped to the ground to offer obeisances when they saw him. They carried him on a bejeweled palanquin during Krishna ceremonies. To live in New Vrindaban was to surrender everything, body, soul, family, and bankbook to Kirtanananda. Especially bankbook.
"Money is the honey," Kirtanananda liked to say, rubbing his hands.
But fifty thousand dollars? That ain't hay. And neither Chuck nor Debra had ever had much money.
Kirtanananda had started the commune in 1968 on a rundown 130-acre farm in West Virginia's beautiful northern panhandle. Neighboring farmers, born and raised in adjoining farms, shook their heads and told one another not to worry: Those "Hairy Critters" with their shaved heads and their orange bedsheets wouldn't make it through the first winter.
They didn't. But the Hare Krishnas came back in the spring, and this time they prospered. They sent around a straw man, a local fellow named Randall Gorby, to snap up land, often at thousands of dollars an acre above market value. The farmers on McCreary's Ridge talked themselves into believing they were selling to Gorby, not to the commune, and cashed out. By 1983, the original 130 acres had grown to 2,884.
Kirtanananda named the commune after the sacred town in India where Krishna appeared as a cowherd boy to slay demons, play his flute, sing, dance, and engage in other pastimes with the gopis, the milkmaids. He billed it as a farming community where devotees could practice the Hare Krishna philosophy of "simple living, high thinking." In time, the simple farm grew into a massive project no more simple and spiritual than the pyramids.
Its jewel, the first temple of a planned spiritual city, is Prabhupada's Palace of Gold, named after A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, or ISKCON. Kirtanananda bills it as America's Taj Mahal, the first of seven temples in a spiritual Disneyland that will propagate Krishna Consciousness. Actually, the palace is a monument to Kirtanananda's obsession with becoming Prabhupada's successor.
When Prabhupada died in 1977, the ISKCON world divided into eleven zones. Each zone was governed by a guru who ruled his devotees by divine right, the way medieval kings ruled serfs. Kirtanananda has always condemned the division as anathema and refused to share power with the ten other gurus. "Purity must come before unity," he is fond of saying.
Kirtanananda believes that he, and he alone, has realized the eternal truths Prabhupada brought to America. Only through him can devotees understand Prabhupada's message and reach Krishna. He built the Palace of Gold to attract the followers of other gurus. Seeing the gold-crested towers shimmering in the sun and climbing the swirling red marble steps, they would stop and think, such splendor! No one else is doing such great service for Prabhupada. I'm going to leave my guru and surrender to Kirtanananda Swami.
The gold, silver, rare jewels, and tons of exotic marble imported to build the Palace of Gold cost a staggering sum of money. Kirtanananda had a dozen ways to get it.
The guru's deep conviction that he, and he alone, had fully realized Prabhupada's message deeply impressed Chuck St. Denis. He didn't think twice when he was told to deal marijuana and turn the profits over to the temple. He was honored to perform such important service. So were many others. Devotees with Ph.D.'s in religious studies joined the Krishnas, as did lawyers, artisans, Harvard M.B.A.'s, Henry Ford's grandson, and Walter Reuther's daughter. But by far the majority of the devotees were members of the lost sixties generation, flower children and street people -- kids like Chuck St. Denis, who started dealing drugs when he was eleven years old.
St. Denis came from Arcadia, California. Home of the Santa Anita racetrack, Arcadia was a town whose identity was snuffed out long ago by the great sprawl of Los Angeles. His parents were alcoholics. His father, a bartender, had abandoned the family early; neither Chuck, nor his older sister, Chrislyn, and certainly not his younger brother, Michael, remembered him. Their mother, a cocktail waitress, had remarried several times.
Chrislyn was the nearest thing to a mother the two boys had. Every day after school, she came straight home and started cooking dinner. She did her best, but she was no match for the harsh life of the streets. By the time she was eleven, all three kids were in trouble.
With Chuck, it was grass and LSD. Then downers, reds, and Seconals. All those drugs did nothing to stunt Chuck's physical growth. At age ten he was big enough to steal his stepfather's car without any help. At thirteen he was a veteran drug dealer and running with a black street gang, whose sworn enemies were Chicanos.
A juvenile court judge finally declared Chuck incorrigible and sent him to juvenile hall. The same court packed his younger brother, Michael, off to a boys' ranch in Oregon.
When they let him out of kiddie jail, Chuck went right back to the only thing he knew: drugs and dealing. He ate huge hits of LSD and began shooting Seconal. At sixteen, he was over six feet tall, and very angry. He got into terrible fights with his brother and sister. He stole from his mother and refused to speak to his stepfather.
His attitude was, You hurt me, you owe me--gimme, gimme, gimme.
Chuck drifted away from home to join the great hippie migration along the California coast. He settled, more or less, in Santa, Cruz, a beautiful coastal town that was a hippie haven when St. Denis arrived in 1969. He hung around the Santa Cruz pier, dealing drugs, soaking his brain in LSD, rapping, and getting laid.
And then he met the Krishnas.
He went away a hippie and came back in a robe with his head shaved. Chrislyn thought he'd been brainwashed, especially the way he tried to cram that religion down the family's throats. When his siblings wouldn't go to the Sunday Krishna feasts, he would get mad.
But after a while, Chrislyn realized the Krishnas were good for Chuck. He was doing a lot of chanting, but he wasn't doing drugs. His whole life, he'd never had a job and never wanted to work. But suddenly it seemed the Krishnas had changed all that. They gave him something to live for, maybe for the first time. In return Chuck worked hard for them.
The Krishnas were the family St. Denis had never had but always wanted. They ordered the world for him; they told him when to get up and what to do until he went to sleep. Even better, they made his poverty righteous. Since he had nothing to lose, it was easy to reject the material world and live a spiritual life. Discipline for people like St. Denis, who have no self-discipline, is an all-or-nothing thing. For almost six years he was a devout follower, chanting and following the regulative principles.
His life as a Krishna monk crumbled in the mid-1970s, when he moved into the Laguna Beach temple, south of Los Angeles. There, a group of devotees that included the temple president were smuggling hash oil into the U.S. from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most of the money was turned over to ISKCON.
The smugglers recruited St. Denis. Before long, he had moved out of the temple and into an apartment with a girlfriend. He was soon sleeping through the morning service and smoking dope instead of chanting. He was only a bit player in the drug operation, however. When the cops broke up the ring, they did not even bother to question him. St. Denis moved to New Vrindaban and was soon running marijuana to raise money for Kirtanananda's temple. He took to the new role like an avid car salesman to a new dealership and made dozens of trips from West Virginia back to the West Coast, usually returning with five or ten pounds of marijuana at a time.
"You hypocrite!" Chrislyn screamed at him one night in Los Angeles, interrupting another one of his seemingly endless sermons. "I can't believe you're sitting in my house, sucking on a joint, dealing, and preaching to me about that fucker Kirtanananda the whole time. Every dime you make goes right to that psycho!"
"It belongs to my family," St. Denis said. "We need the money to build the temple. It's a shrine. We're doing good deeds with the money. The glory of Krishna makes everything clean."
"We've done service for Kirtanananda, lots of service," Chuck told Debra every time they talked about the fifty thousand dollars. "There's no tellin' how much money I've turned over from what I've been doin'. And look at you--workin' day and night in the clinic. Do you know how much it would cost Kirtanananda to hire a nurse to come out here to replace you?"
"But Kirtanananda needs the money more than we do," Debra said. "He needs every penny. There's nothing we could do with it that's more important."
"I'm not sayin' we shouldn't do something for Kirtanananda," St. Denis said. "All I'm saying is, we should do something for ourselves, too."
The idea hit St. Denis when he walked into the living room one morning and looked around him at the plants Debra had used to decorate the place. It was an inspiration. He got so excited, he jumped in his 1973 Blazer and drove right over to the commune's makeshift clinic, where he found Debra stitching a gash in a five-year-old boy's hand. As soon as she finished, St. Denis walked her outside.
"I got it! We'll start a nursery!" he said. "We're both good with plants." We'll buy some land from Kirtanananda and do it right here. I even got the name: Blue Boy Nursery. It'll go. I know it'll go."
Debra loved the idea. There is no bad karma in watering plants and planting flowers. The nursery would enable her to phase out her nursing job and spend more time with her children.
She and Chuck talked it over and agreed that, like devotees everywhere who live and work outside the temple, they would turn 50 percent of the nursery's profits over to their guru. Kirtanananda agreed. Chuck and Debra paid him $17,500 for twenty-three acres of land. Actually, they paid $2,500, and Debra's mother gave the commune a $15,000 "donation" -- a scheme designed to save the commune a few dollars in taxes.
There was one small hitch: a devotee named Thomas Drescher was building a house on their land and didn't want to move. St. Denis agreed to negotiate separately with Drescher for his house. Debra wanted Drescher's small, half-finished place because it was perfect for her mother, who was living alone in Exeter, New Hampshire. She and Chuck would build a new house next to the nursery.
After buying the land, St. Denis threw himself into the project like a madman. He drove around West Virginia's panhandle, interviewing every florist in the Moundsville-Wheeling area. He found there was a steady market for plants in Pittsburgh, eighty miles northeast of the commune, where interior decorators needed hearty tropicals for offices and homes.
Chuck also developed a side business that would ensure the success of Blue Boy Nursery. His interest in horticulture dated back to a trip he took to Garberville, California, a small logging and fishing town in Humboldt County that became the world's unofficial sinsemilla capital in the 1970s. (Sinsemilla is one of the most potent marijuana hybrids.)
While in Garberville, St. Denis had purchased two pounds of primo weed from two friendly, bearded growers. After sharing a joint to seal the deal, they drove into town to have dinner at a small health-food restaurant run by a bunch of ex-hippies. One of the growers had a master's degree in botany. With real passion, he explained how he planned to do for cannabis what grape growers had done for Vitis vinifera. From vinifera vines, the grower patiently explained, winemakers produce varietals like Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. He was now selecting strains of cannabis to produce different smokes -- sweet, fruity, herbal, and spicy. Better yet, he claimed, to have bred weed that produced distinctly different highs, highs he described poetically as sleepy, sexy, and electric.
St. Denis was fascinated. When he left the redwood empire, he took along a dozen small Ziploc plastic bags, each containing two custom-bred sinsemilla seeds that cost between five and fifteen dollars apiece.
St. Denis planted the seeds in a secret place high in the West Virginia mountains. A few plants died, but most were prospering. St. Denis figured that between selling tropicals to interior decorators and high-power smoke to his marijuana connections, Blue Boy Nursery would be a cinch.
Like most dealers, St. Denis was addicted to the big score. If he ordered enough material and bought enough plants, if he kept hammering away at the 250-foot-long greenhouse, he thought the nursery would come together in a flash, just like a dope deal.
When the nursery was half finished, St. Denis borrowed a truck and shot down to Florida to buy tropical plants. He took along Dr. Nick Tsacrios, a short, intense Florida native who had settled in New Vrindaban to run the commune's clinic and live with the fringies. They had just crossed the Georgia state line on their way home when the plywood frames in the back of the overloaded truck collapsed, crushing thousands of dollars' worth of plants.
"Chuck, man, you're way overzealous," Dr. Nick said. "You want everything to happen at once. Slow down. Start small and build."
"You worry about fixin' up people-I'll worry about gettin' plants to grow," St. Denis snapped. He slammed the truck's rear doors shut and stomped back to the cab.
Dan Reid hurried up the stairs to Kirtanananda's office; it was in a converted barn next to the Temple of Understanding. Although St. Denis's friends had assured Reid that St. Denis had never raped his wife, Reid was certain he had. Brenda had described it all in detail.
"Hare Krishna," Reid said when he walked into Kirtanananda's office. Then he stopped in his tracks to offer the required obeisances. He kneeled, laid his palms flat, and touched his forehead to the floor. He got up, faced the guru, and got right to the point.
"Chakradara raped my wife," he told Kirtanananda. "I want to kill him."
The guru was fond of saying, "Not a blade of grass blows in the wind at New Vrindaban without me knowing about it." He knew about St. Denis's affair with Brenda Reid. He did not know about the rape and questioned Reid carefully.
"I thought Chakradara was too wrapped up with Ambudrara and the nursery to do anything like that," Kirtanananda said.
"That's what I thought," Reid replied. "When I heard what had happened, I didn't believe it, so I went and asked Brenda. She said yes, it had happened. Not only that, it happened only a few weeks after she had the kid. The guy's an animal; he hurt her bad."
The guru was silent for a moment.
"So who's gonna care?" he said finally. "Maybe you should go talk to Drescher about this."
Reid drew in a deep breath. He was hoping Kirtanananda would say something like that.
Kirtanananda may not have cared about the rape; he did care that St. Denis and Debra Gere had not turned her inheritance over to him. He needed every penny he could get his hands on to build Krishna's American playground; if devotees started keeping their money instead of giving it to their spiritual master, New Vrindaban's raison d'etre would be destroyed and chaos would ensue.
When Prabhupada, the Krishnas' founder, had to kick a devotee out of the movement for doing something especially bad, like embezzling money, he would refer to the Indian parable of the monkey on a stick. "Let him be the monkey on a stick and let us have no more of that," he would say.
When a monkey breaks into a banana plantation in India, the farm's owners kill the monkey, impale him on a stick, and leave him to rot outside the plantation. Other monkeys see him hanging there and stay away from the bananas.
Chuck St. Denis would be the monkey on a stick.
Dan Reid thanked the swami, left, jumped on his Yamaha, and rode straight to Tirtha, Thomas Drescher, the commune's enforcer.
"You're kidding," Drescher said when Reid told him the story. "Kirtanananda sent you to me? He really said,'Go tell Tirtha'? Take me through it again; I wanna hear exactly what he said."
Reid repeated his story.
"All right," Drescher said. "I'll do it. I take it as an order from the swami to help you."
At first glance, Drescher looks like the manager of a Denny's restaurant, with short, neatly trimmed blond hair and a bland face that would be expressionless if his lips weren't pursed in a perpetual pout. But a closer look reveals a cold, steely gaze behind the brown-tinted glasses. Tattoos run up his forearms.
Drescher grew up in foster homes and juvenile detention centers in Buffalo, New York. At eighteen, he enlisted in the Army and was shipped to Vietnam with the "blood-and-guts" 101st Airborne. Drescher returned to the States in 1972 and joined the Krishnas. He told gory stories about his time in Nam with relish and bragged about all the "gooks" he had killed.
When he came to New Vrindaban in the mid-1970's, his first jobs were driving a bus around the commune and guarding the palace. He drove the bus as if it were an Army jeep. A pregnant devotee remembers that every time she got on the bus, Drescher would floor the gas pedal, then slam on the brakes. Then he would look in the mirror and give her a big grin. One time she fell. Drescher laughed and laughed.
By 1977, he'd been promoted to commune enforcer, a position that combined the roles of cop and goon. He spent hours every day firing a .45 on a range hidden deep in the hills. When Kirtanananda wanted people thrown out of the commune, Drescher drove them to Highway 250 and dumped them beside the road.
The day after talking to Drescher, Reid was lying in bed in his studio, drifting in and out of a late-afternoon nap. When he heard a truck straining to climb the steep hill, he groaned and lifted himself up on one elbow to look out the window. It was Drescher's white pickup. Reid jumped out of bed and ran to meet Drescher outside the shack.
"We're gonna do it," Drescher said. "I got it all figured out."
The two went inside the shack and sat down. Drescher took Reid through it one step at a time. Reid's job was to lure St. Denis to the Artist's Studio.
"Tell him you got some coke" Drescher said. "He'll be sure to come when he hears that."
"I'll do it," Reid said.
"And get yourself a gun," Drescher said.
Fear that the karmis -- meat-eating Westerners -- would someday attack the commune had turned New Vrindaban into an armed camp. The commune had had a number of armorers over the years, beginning with Eugene Braeger, who had built an arsenal of AR-15's, Mini-14's, .45's and nine-millimeters. Braeger was succeeded by Keith Weber and Todd Schenker, two survivalists who liked to walk around New Vrindaban dressed in camouflage, as if they had just stepped out of an ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine.
"It's all gonna happen right in the Artist's Studio," Drescher told Reid. "We can't be bringing cannons in here. We'll blow holes in the walls. We need small caliber weapons. There's a twenty-two in the treasury where you work. Borrow it. Nobody will miss it. You ain't gonna have it long."
"I'll do it," Reid said.
"First thing tomorrow, you go find him," Drescher continued. "Set up a time when he's gonna come up here. As soon as that's done, come over to my place and let me know. We'll take it from there."
Reid nodded. Drescher left and drove half a mile down an old logging road to a small stream. He got out of the truck and walked up and down the stream looking for a place where the water flowed evenly and not too quickly.
He found it and started throwing the biggest rocks he could lift into the stream. When there was a big pile, he took off his shoes, waded into the shallow water, and built a crude dam by plugging the cracks in the rocks with mud. When the water flow was reduced to a trickle, Drescher returned to the truck and got his shovel. Directly below the dam, he dug a shallow grave in what had been the middle of the stream.
"You guys better be ready to work, 'cause I'm a monster with this thing!" St. Denis told the fringies gathered for the planting party. He was standing beside the greenhouse, waving a hole puncher in the air. Everyone but Dan Reid laughed. Standing alone at the edge of the group, he forced a smile.
"Here's the way we do it: I go ahead punchin' the holes; you guys come along behind, plantin' the daisies. If you even come close to keepin' up with me, we'll be done by sunset."
"If I know you, you'll sneak back here and get into the beer and pizza while we're out there, slavin' away," teased Kurt Cleaver, St. Denis's best friend.
St. Denis raised the hole puncher like it was a baseball bat and threatened to chase Cleaver.
"Watch me burn out there," he said. "We'll have this baby knocked off in no time."
It was a perfect spring evening. The leaves on the maples, elms, birches, and oaks on the hillsides were a lush green. Swallows, diving over a nearby pond; did aerial acrobatics as they took insects.
St. Denis was as good as his word, punching row after row of holes while the fringies, on hands and knees, crawled along behind, putting daisies in the ground and covering the roots with soil. It was after dark when they finished and went over to Kurt and Janet Cleaver's house to pop open beers and dig into vegetarian pizzas. Every fifteen minutes or so, St. Denis ran out to the greenhouse to move a jerry-rigged watering system.
"Wait'll you see that field in bloom!" he yelled after one trip. "It's gonna be bee-ooo-tiffff-llll!"
The party broke up around ten o'clock. St. Denis and Debra packed the kids in their Blazer and were on their way home when Chuck stopped at the intersection of Stull's Run Road, a mile from the nursery. Dan Reid was there, waiting on his Yamaha.
St. Denis leaned out of the driver's window. "I'm beat, Daruka," he said. "I don't wanna drive Deb and the kids home and then go all the way up to your place. Let's do it another night.
"Hey! don't do that to me, I'm really up for this," in; Reid said."
"Well, all right, I'll tell you what. Let's just go from here," St. Denis said. "The kids will be asleep by the time time we get there."
Reid looked at Debra and began shifting the weight of the bike from one foot to the other. When he spoke, his voice was an octave higher than usual.
"Naw, let's forget it; It's no big deal. Go home and get the kids to bed. I'll come by tomorrow and we'll set something up."
Chuck threw the Blazer into gear and drove on to the old farmhouse. There he helped Debra tuck in the two kids. Then he popped a Molson's, went upstairs, took a bath, and put on a pair of jogging pants. He and Debra had just gotten into bed and were about to turn off the lights when the phone beside the bed rang. It was eleven thirty.
"Hari bol," St. Denis said, answering with the traditional Krishna greeting.
He listened for a few seconds. Then he chuckled and said, "You're so mental." A few seconds later he added, "All right, I'll meet you there," and hung up.
"That was Reid," he told Debra as he climbed out of bed. "He was calling from the pay phone outside Ma Eddy's. He owes me fifty bucks. He had it on him when he saw us, but forgot to give it to me. He wants to get it to me now before he forgets again."
St. Denis pulled on his pants. He didn't like lying to Debra, but like Reid had said, he had been working hard. He deserved a party.
"I'll be right back. It shouldn't take more than ten minutes to get up there and back."
St. Denis grabbed his Molson's and walked out to the Chevy Blazer. He got in and drove past Ma Eddy's, the general store where he told Debra he was going to meet Reid. He turned onto the road that leads to the Palace of Gold, then onto a narrow dirt road that got narrower and more deeply rutted as it snaked up the mountain. He drove slowly, taking a slug now and then from the beer he had stuck in a plastic holder mounted on the dash.
St. Denis parked in front of the Artist's Studio, got out, and waited for his eyes to adjust to the dark. After a few moments, he walked slowly down a path that led around the studio to the only door. He was approaching the door when Thomas Drescher stepped out of the shadows and aimed a .22 pistol at him.
St. Denis froze. He heard something rustle in the woods behind him and took his eyes off Drescher for a split second. Dan Reid was standing beside a maple tree, aiming another .22 at him.
"Get inside, we wanna talk to you," Drescher said.
St. Denis turned to run back up the path.
Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!
Drescher rapid-fired his .22.
Reid let his gun drop to his side.
"Shoot him!" Drescher screamed at Reid, "Shoot him!"
St. Denis was hit twelve times. He crumpled and went down. But then, almost immediately, as Reid and Drescher watched in amazement, he struggled back onto his feet and half staggered, half ran back down the path toward the Blazer. He stumbled like a drunk who has been decked in a bar fight.
Drescher dropped his gun and ran after him. He lowered his shoulder and dove into St. Denis, hitting him behind the knees. The big man went down. Drescher rolled him over and climbed onto his heaving chest.
"Get a knife!" he yelled at Reid. "Get a knife!"
Reid felt like he was going to vomit. For an instant he thought about running away, but he was afraid if he did, Drescher would come after him and kill him, too. He ran into the cabin and came out with a kitchen knife.
"Chant!" Drescher was screaming. "Start chanting!"
Drescher thought he was doing St. Denis one last favor. As Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita, "Those who remember me at the time of death will come to me. Do not doubt this." By forcing St. Denis to chant, Drescher thought he was guaranteeing him a more spiritual life in his next incarnation.
But St. Denis would not die. Coughing blood and gasping for breath, he tried to throw Drescher off his chest. Drescher grabbed the knife and stabbed him. Again and again. Hard and deep. Finally, the blade hit a rib and snapped. St. Denis kept struggling.
Reid ran back to his cabin and grabbed a screwdriver. Drescher stabbed St. Denis with that. St. Denis fought on, screaming in agony. Reid found a hammer and Drescher hit him with that, punching a one-inch hole in his skull. St. Denis went limp and stopped fighting. Breathing deeply, Drescher climbed off him. He and Reid were looking down at the bloody body when St. Denis started emitting long, high-pitched screams like a German shepherd that has been hit by a truck.
Drescher and Reid dragged St. Denis down the logging road to the dammed-up stream. They dumped the body on the swampy ground and stumbled around trying to find the grave Drescher had dug.
It had disappeared.
Reid was mentally numb. Part of his mind denied it was all happening; the other part screamed, "Get it over with. Get it over with!" He ran up and down, back and forth across the stream bed. Suddenly, he fell in water up to his waist. He had found the hole. Water had seeped up from the ground, filling it. While Reid bailed it out with a shovel, Drescher unfolded a sheet of plastic.
"Get over here and help me get him in this," Drescher yelled.
Reid put down his shovel, walked over to the body, and picked up one end of the plastic. They were about to wrap St. Denis's head when he opened his eyes.
"Don't do that, you'll smother me," he said.
Reid screamed, a long, piercing scream of pure terror. He stopped, glanced at the body, and screamed again. Then he bolted into the woods.
Drescher watched him go. He had expected as much out of the little wimp. Killing didn't bother Drescher; he had found that out in Vietnam. He finished sheathing St. Denis in plastic and was dragging him to the hole when Reid reappeared.
"It's a good thing for you that you came back," Drescher said in an even, menacing voice. "Get over here and help me get him in."
Reid walked around to the other side of the body and helped Drescher drop St. Denis into the hole. St. Denis was still breathing when the first shovelfuls of dirt hit him.
Reid and Drescher filled the grave; Reid working fast, Drescher at a steady pace. When the hole was covered, they knocked down Drescher's dam.
"Ever do this when you were a kid?" Drescher asked.
"I used to build dams all the time," Drescher said.
Within fifteen minutes, the stream had covered St. Denis's grave, and the gurgling current had carried away all the loose soil. The killers walked back to the artist's studio. Drescher got into St. Denis's Blazer and drove to Bridgeport, a small town across the Ohio River from Wheeling. Reid followed in Drescher's pickup truck. Drescher parked the Blazer near the home of Big John, a friend of St. Denis's and a marijuana dealer. He wiped the car clean of fingerprints, returned to the pickup, and rode back to the Artist's Studio with Reid.
When they returned across the Ohio River, they threw the .22s they had used on St. Denis out the window and into the water below the bridge.
The eastern sky was turning violet when Dan Reid walked into the tiny cabin where Brenda and his kids were sleeping. It was his first visit in weeks. Brenda woke up frightened and snapped on a light. Dan was soaking wet and covered with mud. His skin was as white as tofu and there were deep black circles under his eyes.
"What happened? What's going on?" Brenda asked.
Reid said nothing. Without bothering to undress, he lay down on the bed, took his wife in his arms and held her. It was a long time before he let go.
Everybody said so, man ...
You could see it on T.V.
They stood there ashamed with nowhere to go
Nobody wants them now
The kids are alright
Every day is a holiday
Pushin' people around
I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends
Someone caught one I could see so myself
I had to call 254 so they wouldn't blame me
We wanted to know how much trouble there was
When we asked our Daddy, he said, "It's just because."
I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends
I don't wanna open a can of worms and
I don't want any Spagetti-Os
And I could always tell when
someone is holding a grudge
I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends
As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of at all
'Til the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool,
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow the rules,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years,
Then they expect you to pick a career,
When you can't really function you're so full of fear,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,
You think you're so clever and classless and free,
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
There's room at the top they are telling you still,
But first you must learn how to smile when you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
If you want to be a hero, well then just follow me
If you want to be a hero, well then just follow me
The duty of directors henceforth shall be to make money for shareholders but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, public health and safety, dignity of employees, and the welfare of the communities in which the company operates.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest